The Brendoncare Christchurch Variety Club and Get Together Southbourne Club, run by Winchester based charity, Brendoncare Clubs, have joined forces to meet virtually, to give members and volunteers the opportunity to get together each week, whilst the physical club is temporarily closed.
During the weekly session, the members and volunteers enjoy a chat, a virtual cuppa and sometimes a quiz.
Sandra and Brian Sammer, members of the Christchurch Variety Club, commented,
“Although it was a big learning curve, we are pleased to have done it. It is so good to see each other. We look forward to it every week.”
David and Jean Wright, members of the Get Together Southbourne Club, said,
“We are really missing our weekly club at Southbourne, so this is the next best thing.”
Sandra Turner, Brendoncare Club Support, said,
“I would like to thank everyone who has joined us for these meetings. We understand we have had some technical challenges along the way, but this does not worry us. We are here to help and give as many people as we can the opportunity to stay connected. We have a lot of laughs together and we would love more of our members to get involved, they are missed. We cannot wait to get back to meeting again in person, but this is a lovely way to spend an hour in this very unusual time.”
Volunteers of the club are also starting to help people who want to join in with the virtual club, but who don’t yet have the skills, confidence with technology, or the equipment to do so. The plan is to develop further virtual clubs to help people connect with the outside world during this time of enforced isolation.
Brendoncare Clubs is a well established and trusted community service, offering a vital lifeline for 1,700 older people in Hampshire and Dorset, through 94 clubs across 40 locations during the week and over the weekend. The clubs are temporarily closed at present, but when running they provide a friendly, fun, relaxed and supportive environment where older people can meet other club members, make friends and develop strong peer support networks.
The Christchurch Variety Club usually meets every Saturday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, at Druitt Hall, High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AJ and the Get Together Southbourne Club usually meets every Thursday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, at Immanuel Church (main hall), 120 Southbourne Road, Southbourne, Dorset, BH6 3QJ.